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Friday, February 3, 2023
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Technology Modernization Fund Announces Targeted Investments in Improving Customer Experiences for the Public

The new investments will build and improve digital services at the U.S. Agency for International Development and the U.S. Railroad Retirement Board.

One year after President Biden’s executive order to transform the way the federal government serves the American public, the Technology Modernization Fund is making its first project investments from the $100 million customer experience allocation the Office of Management and Budget and the General Services Administration announced earlier this year. The new investments will build and improve digital services at the U.S. Agency for International Development, designated one of the nation’s 35 High Impact Service Providers due to the scale and impact of its public-facing services, and the U.S. Railroad Retirement Board. With these investments, USAID will accelerate the creation of an enterprise-wide customer relationship management system, and the RRB will implement new online self-services for railroad retirees so they can get answers faster in accessing the benefits and services they’ve earned.

“Every day, the public experiences well-designed interactions when using consumer products and services, and they want the same when they interact with our Government,” said TMF Board Chair and Federal CIO Clare Martorana. “With our investments in USAID and RRB, the Federal Government is signaling a shift to a product mindset, one where we put our customers at the center of everything we do and use technology and design to deliver a better customer experience. By ensuring technologists are partnering with agency subject matter experts and leadership teams from the beginning, the Federal Government can deliver experiences on par with our country’s most recognizable consumer brands.”

“The American public deserves to have a simple, seamless, and secure experience when they interact with their government,” said TMF Executive Director Raylene Yung. “These investments represent the TMF’s commitment to helping agencies improve the ways they interact with the American public and better deliver the services identified in the President’s Executive Order. USAID and the RRB’s projects will streamline information sharing and reduce the burden on both agencies and the taxpayer by eliminating outdated and costly systems.”

USAID Enterprise Customer Relationship Management Campfire
A $5.9 million TMF investment will provide the startup capital necessary to develop and launch a new IT platform to coordinate USAID’s work with businesses, foundations and philanthropic organizations, academic and research institutions, public interest organizations, and more. TMF support will accelerate an enterprise-wide CRM system implementation and bolster USAID’s financial commitment to the project, enabling them to deliver a more functionally mature product faster.

“USAID’s first enterprise-wide customer relationship management platform will streamline and systematize how we manage our relationships with critical external partners, not just here in Washington, but across the Agency’s 90 posts and missions worldwide,” said Deputy Administrator Paloma Adams-Allen. “This will enable us to collaborate more effectively and readily innovate with our partners as we tackle climate change, bolster the global food security system, support burgeoning democracies, and respond to disasters and humanitarian emergencies. TMF’s support for this project will expedite USAID’s evolution into a more modern and effective partnership organization, and allow us to tap into new ideas and sources of investment to advance U.S. development and humanitarian objectives around the world.”

USAID presently relies on a patchwork of disconnected systems, standards, and business processes across different initiatives and offices worldwide. The current approach burdens both USAID staff and partners with information silos, duplicative work, and inefficiencies.

RRB Citizen-Centric Online Self-Services
An $8.7 million TMF investment will move major services for railroad retirees from phone and paper to new online systems. This project will allow the agency to address critical customer experience challenges by redirecting frontline customer representatives’ efforts toward handling more complex beneficiary requests and allowing customers to update their own personal information through new online self-services.

“This investment will vastly improve the annuitant, beneficiary, and active railroad employee experience with the RRB, while saving time and reducing costs for the agency,” said Terryne Murphy, Chief Information Officer for the RRB. “It will save time for our customers and eliminate the uncertainty of application statuses, reduce call wait times, and avail more RRB staff hours to address complex beneficiary requests.”

“The Technology Modernization Fund is looking to invest in even more proposals from agencies that articulate end-user impact, and can yield measurable progress in the shorter term, as well as over the life of the project,” said Yung.

GSA encourages federal agencies to contact the TMF Program Management Office at tmf@gsa.gov if the vision, mission, and use of TMF makes sense in their agency IT modernization efforts. Agencies can follow these guidelines for submitting a proposal.

These are not the first investments the TMF has made in improving the public’s experience with government. Some other examples include AmeriCorps’ Grants Modernization efforts, U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farmers.gov Customer Experience Portal, and the National Archive and Records Administration’s High Value Asset Mission Essential Systems project. Anyone can find more information about these and all the TMF project investments to date at tmf.cio.gov.

Read more at GSA

Homeland Security Todayhttp://www.hstoday.us
The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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